The New Conservative Mantra: It’s Better to Look Good than to Be Good

bachmann-palinRemember Billy Crystal’s Fernando Lamas impression from Saturday Night Live? Crystal’s hilarious version of Lamas always said, “It’s better to look good than to feel good.” Given the importance many a conservative places on aesthetics, I think a new version of that mantra would be perfect for them: It’s Better to Look Good than to Be Good.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed an uptick in attacks on my appearance, focused on my hair. I have what is commonly known as a pixie cut, and this seems to outrage right wing trolls and readers. I have been told I am a “dyke,” a “tranny,” that I look like a boy, that I’m “ugly,” and that real women don’t have short hair (I would challenge one person to tell me Halle Berry is not a real woman). But this trend of attacking primarily liberal women based on their looks is nothing new. By the way, Bria and Chrissy, who have their own You Tube channel, a CD, and have thousands of fans, are a lesbian couple, and they both have long, flowing locks. There goes the “short hair makes you a lesbian” argument.

A few years ago, right wing Facebook pages began creating memes with photos of specific attractive conservative women on one side, and select less attractive liberal women on the other. The memes falsely compared the physical beauty of one group to the other, and mistakenly pointed out that conservative women were always better – because they were always prettier. Looks are very important to conservatives. Kindness, honesty, humility, honesty-not so much. The women who conservatives seem to find the most physically attractive are more often than not, women whose words, actions, and beliefs are less than attractive.

One example of this is Sarah Palin. Most conservatives think the Half-Governor Grifter looks good, looks great, and many right wing pundits believe liberals “hate” Palin because she’s “beautiful.” I don’t hate Sarah Palin. I feel sorry for her fans who keep giving her money, I feel sorry for her ghostwriter, and I think her fifteen minutes were up long ago, but I don’t hate her. I also don’t think she’s “beautiful.” In my world, what you do, what you believe, who you are, is more important than how you look. And Sarah Palin, while having nice skin and straight teeth, has some real ugliness on the inside. She has said things that are truly offensive, completely false, and flat-out mean. Palin’s “death panel” claim was awarded Lie of the Year by Politifact. She supported Donald Trump’s insane “birtherism,” telling Fox “News:”

More power to him.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin denounced earmarks, equating politicians’ requests for special funding with “corruption.” At the time, Palin was seeking almost $200 million in earmarks for Alaska. But that’s sort of her thing, if you will. Do as I say, not as I do. That could be another mantra for conservatives, couldn’t it?

According to many conservatives, Michele Bachmann also “looks good.” But once again, her physical beauty is marred by her beliefs and statements. In 2006, Rep. Bachmann said this on the floor of the Minnesota house, about bullying in schools:

I think for all of us our experience in public schools is there have always been bullies, always have been, always will be. I just don’t know how we’re ever going to get to a point of zero tolerance and what does it mean? What will be our definition of bullying? Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression? Will it mean that what form of behavior will there be-will we be expecting boys to become girls?

Michele Bachmann was upset when Minnesota passed marriage equality, Tweeting:

I’m proud to have introduced the original traditional marriage act. and I thank all Minnesotans who have worked so hard on this issue. 

Rep. Bachmann also claims to to be pro-life, but when a rash of teenage suicides in her district caught the attention of the country, she stayed silent.

Conservatives seem to believe it is more important to look good than to be good. They hold women like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ann Coulter up as examples of “beauty,” and call Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Tammy Duckworth and any Democratic or liberal woman, ugly. Looks fade, wrinkles come, as does grey hair and cellulite. What doesn’t fade is the person you are, your absolute self. Frankly, I would rather have my pixie cut that takes five minutes to style, and a few crow’s feet, and keep working on my kindness, my acceptance, my ability to love, and my desire to be a good person in this world.

Perhaps any woman who has been attacked by conservatives for her looks should be thankful. Would any of us really want to be included in a category that features Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ann Coulter?

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


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